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The RFT slip into the DC semis

Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev as expected, led the Russian Tennis Federation – Russia itself has been banned from international competition for state doping – to the semi-finals of this year’s reformatted Davis Cup brushing Sweden aside 2-0.

Madrid feels like home, we are winning a lot of matches, we beat Spain the other day (in the group stage). It was a great boost of confidence to beat the home favourites Daniil Medvedev

In what was the last quarter-final of the competition, the powerful pair dismissed the Ymer brothers in both singles dropping just one set in the process.

Playing the first rubber, Rublev scraped out a tough 6-2 5-7 7-6(3) win over Elias Ymer leaving Medvedev to clinch overall victory, which the world No.2 and US Open champion duly did defeating Michael Ymer 6-4 6-4 in the second.

Medvedev showed some signs of weariness as he was broken three times, made 20 unforced errors and delivered nine double faults but he improved his tally of victories to 26 of his last 29 indoor matches.

“I should have served better but I am really happy to bring the point to the team,” Medvedev said on court. “Madrid feels like home, we are winning a lot of matches, we beat Spain the other day (in the group stage). It was a great boost of confidence to beat the home favourites.”

Commenting on his own victory earlier, Rublev, world No.5, explained why he had dropped a set.

“There’s a lot of pressure when you know that you have to win and your opponent has nothing to lose,” Rublev pointed out.

“They go for it, they go for their shots and play without fear and in my case I know I have to win so you start to play less aggressive and you start to miss a bit more.

“Today was a super tough match. I didn’t manage to finish the match when I had a really great chance.

“I missed some easy balls and that brings him back to the game and since that moment he raised his level. He started to feel confident, and he started to play much better and then it was 7-6 in the third.”

The RFT, which on Saturday, will be their second successive DC semi-final, will now meet Germany led by Jan-Lennard Struff while the first will be played out Friday featuring Novak Djokovic’s Serbia against Marin Cilic’s Croatia.

“There is a big rivalry obviously being the neighbouring countries, and there is always an extra pressure, an extra motivation, extra expectations I think for both nations to really win against each other,” said Djokovic in advance of the tie.

“I have known Cilic, and we have had some big encounters over the years. I know him very well.

“Borna Gojo is one of the biggest surprises of competition, winning two out of two matches, beating Sonego in Italy, which was a very impressive win. He’s someone that is very young and just has a big serve, big game overall.

“Of course, they have the best doubles in the world, Mektic & Pavic. They are winning most of the matches they are playing. We saw some of the matches in Davis Cup they have played so far, and they are winning comfortably. Let’s see what happens.”



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